Is it just me or are the years whizzing by? Honestly it seems like just yesterday, I was writing this post for Cole’s 13th birthday. Now it’s a year later and he’s turning 14 and I wonder how that’s even possible, especially in light of the fact that I don’t appear to be aging at all. Well, at least in my mind’s eye and when I squint real hard, looking through cheesecloth at a mirror slathered in Vaseline. Yeah, that’s it.

Once again I have to marvel at this boy I have been fortunate enough to have a hand in molding, physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s been a thing of beauty and at times, frustration. But man, this kid is amazing and despite the challenges it’s been pretty good so far. Of course, we still have to get through the next four years.

So in honor of Cole, a quick list of things I truly love about him.


*COLE’S DETERMINATION: When Cole was about 2 or 3 years old, we went miniature golfing while on vacation. Older sister, Casey listened to her parents show her how to line up the ball, how hard to swing the club and the rules of the game, such as they were. Cole, on the other hand, said, on more than one occasion, “I DO IT!” Of course, he didn’t follow the rules, didn’t do it even close to the way it was supposed to be done and yet somehow, he made it work. I knew then, as I do now, Cole’s a “My-way-or-the-highway” kind of kid.


*COLE’S SENSE OF HUMOR: I think one of the great things as a parent is when your kid provides you with a genuine belly laugh and Cole is always good for that. I think he got his wicked sense of humor from me, something Buff vehemently disagrees with. But whomever it came from, Cole took it and made it his own, which is, at least in part, why people are drawn to him and feel comfortable around him. The fact that he can laugh at himself doesn’t hurt either.


*COLE’S HEART: He’ll probably kill me for telling you this but for all his bravado and tough exterior, this kid does have a soft underbelly. This last year was a tough one for us as a family and it began to take its toll on me. I loved when Cole would try to make me feel better by coming in the room and cracking jokes. A different tactic from his sister, for sure, but ultimately just as effective. Where Casey’s comes from a place of caring and concern, Cole is all about protecting his mom. I love him for that.


*COLE’S CURIOSITY:  I think there might be a girl on the scene since lately it’s all about the abs but that’s just the latest incarnation. When Cole is interested in something, he learns as much as he can about it, devouring knowledge and information like a hungry man at an All-you-can-eat-buffet. Of course, we wish he were like that about all subjects; alas better to have some of that than none at all.

*COLE’S CONFIDENCE:  When I wrote my book, Good Enough Mother all those years ago, Cole was in the third grade. As if I hadn’t been able to figure it out before, it was now becoming clear to me what we were up against. I used to marvel at Cole’s nine-year-old leadership abilities, thinking he’d make a great dictator if we could get him out of grade school. Now heading to high school, Cole was preaching er, talking to me the other day about something and I said, “What must it be like to have so much confidence?” Without batting an eye, he replied, “Pretty good, actually.” I laughed and reveled in it because as adults, we lose a bit of that, after we’re kicked around a time or two. In Cole, that determination is still strong. I hope it stays that way for a long, long time.

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!
You continue to make us proud!

What about you guys? If you had to name one quality about your kids that made you super proud, what would that be?

More from GEM:

Dear Dad: Thanks For the Memories

Happy Birthday Good Enough Mother!

The GEM Debate: Should Talking Like This Cost You?